Denver Ballot Measures 2E and 2G are a blatant power grab by some members of the City Council.
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We are going to get right to the point. Denver Ballot Measures 2E and 2G are a blatant power grab by some members of the City Council who are more interested in creating chaos than solving problems. We say this as two former members of Council, and we say it with great urgency as your ballot will arrive in your mailbox as early as tomorrow.
Ballot Measure 2E: Shall the Charter of the City and County of Denver be amended to give City Council authority to consent to certain mayoral appointments?
Finding the best people to serve in cabinet positions can be difficult under normal circumstances. If a nominee is expected to please each Council member to keep their position, the line of management becomes less clear and potentially costly.
Currently, the mayor often convenes a citizen committee to vet and recommend candidates for mayoral appointments. If a member of Council has a concern about any given appointment, they are able to talk to the Mayor about those concerns. This measure would reduce citizen input and replace it with political theater.
Ballot Measure 2G: Shall the Charter of the City and County of Denver be amended to give the city council authority to initiate a supplemental appropriation or transfer, following consultation with the Manager of Finance?
Denver is the only city in the country with a AAA bond rating from all three rating agencies, thanks in large part to our ability to make spending decisions during a crisis, including the current pandemic. Having Council members introduce supplemental appropriations or transfers at any time for their pet projects could be highly disruptive to funding of basic services.
In fact, Denver was listed by Moody’s Analytics as one of the top 10 cities expected to rebound strongly after this pandemic. And growth expectations continue to increase. (Forbes, 5/12/20.) The mayor and budget director customarily work with Council concerning the use of settlement dollars and unexpected revenues such as COVID-19 federal monies, as Mayor Hancock did this year. Any larger contract for the use of these monies must already receive Council approval under current law.
If the City Council can intercept the City budget twice a year, that AAA rating is not only at risk, but our ability to meet basic needs of our residents is also at risk. This is a solution in search of a problem.
Vote No on 2E and 2G
Some members of this Council seem set on finding problems to their half-baked solutions, which will only deteriorate Denver’s high rankings as a city with a great quality of life, one of the most robust and diversified economies in the country, and a leader in innovation to solve the critical issues the region is facing.
If adopted, these ballot measures will only create chaos to an effective local government at a time when what we really need is steady leadership. Perhaps the Denver City Council needs to focus on getting its own house in order instead of trying to assume more power.
Hon. Elbra Wedgeworth
Hon. Jeanne Faatz
Hon. Elbra Wedgeworth was elected to Denver City Council in the late 1990s, eventually becoming President, and represented District 8 for two terms through 2007. Hon. Jeanne Faatz served on the Denver City Council, representing District 2, from 2003 to 2015 and served as the Chair of the Council Finance Committee for eight years.
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